Category Archives: Just for fun

Just for Fun… Blackjack / 21 Probability in Excel

Using Microsoft Excel to predict 21 (Blackjack) Odds
Using Microsoft Excel to predict 21 (Blackjack) Odds


This spreadsheet uses macros and formulas to predict odds in the card game Blackjack (aka 21). It deals you random cards one at a time and shows you the probability of your hand value if you hit again.


Calculate Blackjack Odds in Microsoft Excel
XLCalibre Blackjack in Excel

Have a look and let me know what you think (don’t forget to enable macros).


By the way, if you like this you probably want to check out our Excel slide puzzle game or some of our other Just for Fun posts

Just for Fun… Roll the Dice

Picture this…

You’re settling down for a game of monopoly… everyone is ready around the board… you’ve exchanged banter and already started to forge alliances… and you realise you don’t have any dice! Somewhere along the last 20 years that you owned the board, the dice got separated from it, eaten by the dog maybe, who knows.

So what now?

Use Excel.


Here it is, your dice-rolling spreadsheet. Just select from the dropdown how many dice you want to roll (up to 6 at a time) and press the button (make sure you have macros enabled first).

Roll the Dice
Roll the Dice

If you’re learning VBA, this is a relatively short piece of code for you to investigate. See if you can understand how it works, and think whether you would do it the same way. If not, let me know what your approach would be!



We took some good advice and changed our VBA to avoid selecting cells. It simplifies things and with a larger file is more efficient – basically it’s the better approach. Also, if you turn your volume on that it now reads you the numbers as they come up and tells you the total at the end. And another thing, it has a Roll again? dialogue box at the end.

Just for Fun… The Amazing Macro-powered Excel Slide Puzzle

You know slide puzzles right?

XLCalibre Slide PuzzleYou have a picture set out on tiles which have been scrambled, and you have to slide them around to put the picture back together. Well now you can enjoy them in Excel!


Make sure you enable macro’s and you’re ready to go. If you complete the puzzle and want to start again (or just get stuck) the spreadsheet can even shuffle the tiles for you.

If you like this check out other posts in our Just for Fun category!

Just for Fun… Countdown

Last week I wrote a London 2012 Olympics-themed post showing how to use Excel to flip a coin. Keeping in the Olympic spirit I thought I’d share a spreadsheet that helps you count down the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds between now and the opening ceremony.


It uses a simple macro to calculate each second, and you can adapt it to any deadline date and time, and to show either just workdays or all days. Beyond that I’ll let you explore the tool yourself and understand how it works.

When you open it you’ll need to enable macros, and then click the Countdown button on the bottom right of the Display tab.



Just for Fun… Olympic Coin Toss

With the London 2012 Olympics approaching fast, there will be plenty of events started with the flip of a coin. Just for fun, we’ve used Excel to simulate a coin toss.

The coin pictures used are from the Royal Mint website page showing their commemorative 50p coins.

So what do you do with this spreadsheet? You’ll need to enable macros when you open the file, and then you can use it whenever you would flip a coin. Or if you like Excel, see if you can figure out how it works!

Just for fun… Heads or Tails?

You have a row of 1,000 coins, all of which are heads up. You flip the second, fourth, sixth, and all other even coins over so that they’re tails. Then you flip over the third, sixth, and all other coins which are multiples of three. Now you do this for every fourth coin, every fifth coin, etcetera, all the way up to every thousandth coin. Which coins are heads up, and why?

I heard this puzzle mentioned on TV the other day on Growing Pains of a Teenage Genius, and decided to solve it with Excel.

This spreadsheet lets you change the number of coins, or even change the number of sides of the object (a coin is a two sided object, but you could change it to a six sided dice for example).

Heads or Tails

#growingpainsofateenagegenius #excel #puzzle #logic